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Socialist Worker


Issue: 2034

Dated: 20 Jan 2007




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Bush and Blair’s nightmare vision: a generation doomed to war

Tony Blair promises us a "generation" of war. Standing on HMS Albion, a naval assault ship, he ranted last week about the need for decades of conflict, and how the British people had to harden themselves for the coming clashes.


International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other

News

STUC backs Scottish Stop the War conference

The Scottish Trade Union Congress’s general council last week voted to support the Scottish Stop the War conference on 10 February and to circulate details to all its affiliated organisations.

Resisting the government’s drive to close schools

The government’s obsession with involving the private sector in the running of schools is set to plummet to new depths.

Fighting sackings at Unique Care in Huddersfield

Some 17 women employed by Unique Care in Huddersfield were sacked on Thursday of last week after standing up to bullying and the sacking of one of their colleagues.

NHS workers’ revolt grows against health cuts

The crisis in the NHS becomes more urgent every week. Now James Johnson, head of the British Medical Association, has warned that the competitive market introduced by health secretary Patricia Hewitt is ruining the service.

CWU postal workers gear up for a national strike ballot

Pressure is growing from postal workers for a national strike ballot. The CWU union’s executive has little choice but to discuss action after a national briefing last week for branch union reps gave an absolutely clear indication of the mood for action.

Great spirit on the Fujitsu picket lines in Manchester

Fujitsu managers were rattled by the determination of their Manchester staff to stand up for their rights last week.

Defend Esol teaching against the government’s hypocrisy

Over 200 people came to a meeting on Monday to campaign against the government’s attacks on one of the last and most important rights possessed by asylum seekers – the right to free English classes (Esol) and further education courses.

Striking back against Gordon Brown’s civil service axe

Chancellor Gordon Brown’s plan to slash over 100,000 jobs across the civil service will have a terrible effect on essential public services.

Corporate tax dodgers face an even easier ride

Gordon Brown’s civil service job cuts won’t just mean misery for the poor – they will also deliver an even easier ride for the richest in society.

Campaigns to save our schools in Devon and Lewisham

Teachers in Devon have launched a campaign against the setting up of six trust schools in the county.

UCU lecturers step up campaign for Roger Kline

The ballot papers for the election of the general secretary and national executive members of the new UCU lecturers’ union are due to be sent out in two weeks.

Defend Amicus steward Anthony Czubkowski

The campaign against the suspension of Anthony "Chub" Czubkowski, the senior shop steward for the Amicus union at Central Networks, took a number of steps forward last week.

Unison branch secretary Tony Staunton wins support

This month’s meeting of the South West regional council of the Unison union took place last Saturday.

Don’t let them deport Zahra Byansi and her two sons

Protesters gathered in Glasgow on Saturday in solidarity with Zahra Byansi and her sons, Faysal and Rahim aged 12 and five.

Reports round-up

TV licensing strike scheduled

British Airways cabin crew set to strike

British Airways (BA) cabin crew have voted overwhelmingly for a strike over "management by imposition and the breakdown of respect".

Denso workers in Birmingham fight for their jobs and pay

Some 60 people struck at Denso Manufacturing in Birmingham last Thursday.

Defend Yunus Bakhsh

The campaign to defend Yunus Bakhsh, a leading activist in the Unison union, is gaining momentum.

Yunus Bakhsh suspended from office in Unison

On Tuesday 16 January Yunus Bakhsh, one of the best known left activists in Unison, was suspended from office in the union.

PCS accepts Gordon Brown’s two-tier pension deal proposal

The government and the PCS civil service workers’ union have released details of new proposals for the pension scheme.

NCR boss axes Dundee factory workers via video message

Bill Nuti, president and chief executive of bank machine makers NCR – who was paid £2 million last year – couldn’t find the time to tell his staff that their jobs were being axed. So he had a film made of himself breaking the news.

Tube drivers win reinstatement

Tube train drivers on the Northern Line have won an important victory in a battle against the sacking of one of their colleagues.

‘English’ literature and flag waving experts

After a sequence of speeches about the so-called dangers of segregated communities and the wearing of the veil, a picture is emerging of New Labour going into the next election.

Local government pensions strike decision postponed

The Unison union’s local government service group executive decided last week that new proposals over pensions were unacceptable.

Preston Respect needs your help on 28 January

Respect is encouraging supporters from across north west England to come to Preston on Sunday 28 January to campaign for May’s council elections.

Resistance to NHS cuts is growing nationally

The funding crisis that is forcing the closure of hospital wards and units across the country is meeting tough resistance from campaigners.

‘Surge’ into Iraq threatens to spill into Iran and Syria

The threat of war against Iran came one step closer this week when the US neocons announced they are "going to deal" with Iran.

Somali activist: ‘The US is imposing a dictatorship upon us’

In Somalia US warplanes and Ethiopian attack helicopters have killed up to 70 nomadic tribesmen, while the pro-US militia is spreading terror among ordinary people. So says Dahabo Isse of the Somali Civil Liberties and Human Rights Organisation.

Huge anti-war protest set for the US on 27 January

The anti-war movement in the US has reacted with outrage at George Bush’s plans to ratchet up the war in Iraq. It is mobilising for a monster demonstration through Washington on 27 January.

Activists to meet at 5th Cairo Conference

Egyptian opposition activists are calling on anti-war groups and unions to send delegates to the 5th Cairo Conference, 29 March-1 April, 2007.

Big Brother: this is no culture clash, it’s the reality of racism in Britain today

It’s just a clash of cultures, say Channel 4’s bosses in response to complaints against the reality TV show Big Brother. It’s not really racism, they assure us, just a "culture clash".


International

Greek student movement fights neoliberal privatisation plans

Some 240 university departments across Greece are being occupied by their students in a wave of action that is threatening to derail the right wing New Democracy government.

Protesters take on the right in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, has become the focus of the growing battle between supporters of left wing president Evo Morales and right wing governors who are demanding autonomy for key oil and gas producing regions.

Chavez launches new party in Venezuela

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has recently announced that  the current governing coalition, the Movement for the Fifth Republic (MVR), should be dissolved, making way for the construction of a new United Socialist Party (PSUV).

US offers aid to crush Hamas

Condoleezza Rice is fuelling the threat of civil war in Palestine. In a recent visit to Israel the US secretary of state promised $85 million in military aid to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to fight the popularly elected Hamas government.

Moroccan sit-in at Dewhirst continues

The 486 sacked workers at the British clothing manufacturer Dewhirst in Morocco were continuing their protest this week.

Lebanese workers protest against privatisation and tax

Lebanese workers shout anti-government slogans outside the telecommunications ministry in a protest against privatisation and tax increases.


Comment

The two, competing souls of the movement in Venezuela

The most important battle taking place in Venezuela today is not between Hugo Chavez and the right wing opposition. It is within the Bolivarian movement itself.

Why we should defend stem cell research

Stem cell research is among the most exciting but also most controversial areas of science today. It was in the news again last week because of proposals by British scientists to make stem cells from embryos created by implanting the genes from a human cell into the egg of a rabbit, cow or goat.

Bush’s Iraq plan is a desperate gamble

George Bush’s method when deciding his new Iraq strategy seems to have been to take the report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) and, where it said minus, replace with a plus.


Features

Somalia and Ethiopia: a new front in the ‘long war’

Last week’s US attack on Somalia is the latest stage of imperialist intervention in the Horn of Africa, write Ken Olende and Charlie Kimber

Sexual liberation and the Russian Revolution

The modern gay rights movement began in 1969 with the Stonewall riots in New York.

Strategies and lessons for stopping the Nazi BNP

Success in the fight against fascism depends on mass mobilisation.

Cost of living rises way above inflation

Do you notice your wages don’t stretch as far as they once did? Are you left short of cash at the end of each month?


Reviews

Apocalypto: a distorted portrayal of the Mayans

It is the ending of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto that unlocks its secret. Three ships rest in the bay as a boat containing missionaries and soldiers drifts towards to the shore. After nearly two and a half hours of violence, blood and savagery, civilisation arrives silently to save the poor primitives from themselves.

Resolving the political contradictions of choreography

Out of all the established artforms, dance usually occupies the least space in newspaper columns and listings pages.

Jeff Perks | Mark Wallinger: State Britain | Diwan 2: Rachid Taha | African Soul Rebels

Jeff Perks exhibition Since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, artist Jeff Perks has been creating and printing graphics in response to the news. Over 30 of these anti-war graphics are going on display in Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Derbyshire, from Saturday 20 January to 10 March. Entrance to the exhibition, Words Out Of War, is free.


What We Think

No platform for the BNP ballerina

Simone Clarke is a principal dancer with the English National Ballet – and also a card carrying member of the fascist British National Party (BNP).


Other Categories

Tim: BNP ballerina

Letters

Letters

Meetings, events and demonstrations

Meetings And Events



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